We have just returned from a wonderful Med cruise onboard Navigator of the Seas. We travelled as a family of 2 Adults and 3 Children (16, 13 and 8), and booked two adjacent Outside staterooms. Unfortunately, all the interconnecting rooms were sold out, but this worked out just fine.
The ship is now nearly eight years old, and is still in excellent condition. We have sailed on various RCCL ships (Legend, Voyager, Navigator and Indy). Although Indy is our absolute favourite, Navigator is still right up there.
This is the first time our children have been onboard a Voyager class ship, and they were surprised at how similar it actually is to the much-newer Indy. The staterooms, MDR and kids clubs are all exactly the same. The Royal Promenade is very similar, the only difference being that on Indy it is slightly longer, so has a few extra shops and barber shop.
We boarded in Rome, which was an absolute doddle. We booked a private transfer from Ciampino airport, which took about an hour and fifteen minutes, and cost €145 each way. Much cheaper than a RCCL transfer, for which they charge $95 per person!!
I would definitely say this is a family friendly ship. I would say that the average age for adults onboard would be mid-thirties/forties. The ship was full, and there were lots of children on board. Therefore, the poolside was absolutely jammed on sea days. This didn’t bother us, and we always managed to get somewhere to sun ourselves, but I would imagine those new to cruising would find this quite off-putting.
The kids had a great time, and so did we. This is the first time in all our cruises that we didn’t go to any of the shows. We just took our time, got ready for dinner, and basically had a more relaxing and enjoyable experience because of that. They have a Captains welcome aboard doo on the first Formal Night on the Promenade. I would recommend going along, lots of bubbly and canapés, and a nice wee introductory speech from Captain Patrik. He is really young and enthusiastic, and his speech was really nice. Hardly anyone wore tuxedos, but were still smart in a more casual sort of way. The second formal night wasn’t really adhered to by anyone. I suspected this would be the case, and had packed accordingly.
Food in the MDR was excellent, so we didn’t feel the need to upgrade to Portofino or Chops Grille, as we have done in the past. Our youngest wouldn’t be allowed in anyway, so we just kept the whole family together at dinner time. Have done the Johnny Rockets thing on Indy, and to be honest, it is not great – it’s just a burger joint. Nothing special, and can’t understand why they charge extra for it.
Service in the MDR was the worst we have ever experienced on any cruise. Our waitress and her assistant were terrible!! We didn’t complain about them, because we actually thought they were so bad, it was verging on being funny. She only had two more cruises before returning to Jamaica, so maybe she was dreaming of being home again? Who knows, we were definitely in a very relaxed frame of mind and just let their inefficiency wash over us.
So, to summarise:
Ship still in excellent condition. Fun for adults and kids alike. Definitely leaning towards younger clientele. Excellent itinerary, however, European ports are very hot in summertime. Sometimes it’s more fun to stay onboard when everyone else is ashore. Quite a long (and costly) transfer between either of the airports in Rome.